6.4/10
5,250
41 user 15 critic

Losing Isaiah (1995)

R | | Drama | 17 March 1995 (USA)
The natural and adoptive mothers of a young boy are involved in a bitter, controversial custody battle.

Director:

Stephen Gyllenhaal

Writers:

Seth Margolis (novel), Naomi Foner (screenplay)
Reviews
1 nomination. See more awards »

Photos

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Jessica Lange ... Margaret Lewin
Halle Berry ... Khaila Richards
David Strathairn ... Charles Lewin
Cuba Gooding Jr. ... Eddie Hughes
Daisy Eagan ... Hannah Lewin
Marc John Jefferies ... Isaiah
Samuel L. Jackson ... Kadar Lewis
Joie Lee ... Marie
Regina Taylor ... Gussie
LaTanya Richardson Jackson ... Caroline Jones (as LaTanya Richardson)
Jacqueline Brookes ... Judge Silbowitz
Donovon Ian H. McKnight Donovon Ian H. McKnight ... Amir
Rikkia A. Smith Rikkia A. Smith ... Josie
Paulette McDaniels Paulette McDaniels ... Ethel
Velma Austin Velma Austin ... Rehab Leader
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Storyline

An African-American baby, abandoned by his crack addicted mother is adopted by a white social worker and her husband. Several years later, the baby's mother finds out her son is not dead, as she thought before and goes to court to get him back. Written by Cyndi Kessler <ckessler@hooked.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Who decides what makes a mother?

Genres:

Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for drug related material and brief strong language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

17 March 1995 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Losing Isaiah See more »

Filming Locations:

Chicago, Illinois, USA

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Box Office

Budget:

$17,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$2,520,972, 19 March 1995

Gross USA:

$7,603,766

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$7,603,766
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Paramount Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In between takes, a make-up girl accidentally scratched Halle Berry's corneas while applying eye drops, resulting in lots of pain, and missed work for Halle. See more »

Goofs

Khaila could not have known that Isaiah "liked to play with blocks", since she had not had him with her while he was growing up from infancy, and he'd always just sullenly moped around whenever he was at her apartment and never wanted to play or interact with the other children at day-care, so Khaila would never have seen Isaiah when he was truly just "at play" and thus learned what toys were his favorites. See more »

Quotes

Rehab Leader: [as Khaila suddenly bursts into tears] Khaila, what is it? What's wrong?
Khaila Richards: I killed him.
Rehab Leader: What?
Khaila Richards: My baby. I killed my baby. I threw him in the trash can.
See more »


Soundtracks

Joey
by Johnette Napolitano
Performed by Concrete Blonde
Courtesy of I.R.S. Records
See more »

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User Reviews

Indeed, who decides what a mother or father is?
15 May 1999 | by rondineSee all my reviews

I come from a family of 3 children, 2 adpoted and have to applaud this movie for doing a good job of pointing out that being a parent isn't about giving birth or "donating" sperm. A child always belongs with a family that loves him- it shouldn't be about color, or wealth or any other irrelevant factors. It's about responsibility and love. Any one can have a baby, not everyone can be a parent. There are certainly some stereotypes and the movie goes to the extreme point of a mother who literally throws away her baby to a family that is white, wealthy and kind to the child. The movie does this for dramatic purposes and succeeds in provoking a response from the many viewers who have seen this movie, as reviews will show. The movie also manages to enrage without even engaging the color issues. When Khaila's character tells her lawyer, "but I'm his mother" and insists on her "parental rights" it isn't even about color but about what is important about being a mother. Her character thinks that giving birth gives her rights over this tiny human being, (well played by Marc) when even children should be viewed as human beings with rights themselves. Parents who view children as possesions are wrong. I am "white" my husband is Mexican- does our child belong with one or the other? Khaila's lawyer says, "black babies belong with black mothers." Is that what we want to teach? Segregation? Doesn't work for me. Babies of any color belong with the people who take care of them and love them. That's what being a parent is.


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